The Charade: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: Greg Harris
Well, another week is upon us and it’s a pretty good one to boot. Sure, it’s not packed with a handful of music fests, but artists like D’Angelo pictured above will make some nights difficult to choose what to do. Here’s how you can spend the next 168 hours.
Wednesday you can kick thing off over at Warehouse Live when the neo soul sounds of D’Angelo and The Vanguard make their way into town. D’Angelo is one of those enigmatic artists that always brings his a game when he performs. I caught him in the nineties and was very impressed. His latest album was last year’s “Black Messiah” and it’s in line with his other epic works. It’s actually better in that it feels like a mix of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Of course he has the hits like “Brown Sugar” and “Cruisin’,” but this new album is what you’ll primarily get. He has the soulful pop of Australia’s Meg Mac on the bill as opener. Mac is quickly rising up the pop ranks with her amazing vocals and catchy songs. She dropped the massively popular single this year, “Roll Up Your Sleeves” and has been getting bigger ever since. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $76.50 in the ballroom.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson Photo: Miller Mobley
You might want to hear about science and the universe, and if you do, then you can go catch Neil DeGrasse Tyson over at Jones Hall. I have know idea what an evening with him is like, but I’d guess that it’ll involve space and what not. The doors are at 8:00 and tickets are between $63.00 and $115.00.
House of Blues will be bringing in the electro pop of Brooklyn’s French Horn Rebellion. The synthy duo has been getting bigger and bigger for the past fourteen months, and they have a pretty entertaining live set. Their latest release is “New Jack Swing Part 1 (Remixes)” from this year. LA pop duo, De Lux will be there to get things started with their 70’s post disco sounds. These two are also getting more and more popular by the day, and their 2014 album, “Voyage” is pretty great for what it is. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $12.00.
Over at La Playa, you can witness the soulful folk sounds of NOLA’s Hestina. The two piece has been gaining fans since dropping songs over a year ago, and their siren esque vocals are something worth checking out. The acoustic sounds of Houston’s Devil Killing Moth will be there to open things up as only they can. So, the BYOB show is all ages, and doors are at 9:00. It’s a FREE show, but it’d be cool if you bring some cash for the touring band.
Jodeci Photo: Whatevaok
Thursday you can make it over to Arena Theatre to catch the soulful sounds of Jodeci. The wild and sexual nature of the four piece is back after a really long hiatus. They’ll be here in support of their return release, “The Past, The Present, The Future” from last year. Of course, you’ll also get the hits like “Feenin’,” “Freek’n You,” and of course “Cry For You.” Up and coming R&B four piece, Sentury will open the show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $69.50.
You could head over to Improv to get your laugh on, when funnyman Harland Williams comes to the venue. Williams is one of the funniest off the cuff comics I’ve seen in a long time, and he’s done all of the talk shows at least twice. His latest album, last year’s “What A Treat” is pretty damn funny. As per all of the shows there, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as feature and host. There’s one show Thursday at 8:00, two on Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, two on Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and one on Sunday at 7:30. All carry ticket prices between $22.00 and $32.00.
Walter’s will have the psych garage sounds of Washington’s Broken Water. The three piece is known for playing a multiple genre mix of punk meets shoegaze, meets garage rock psych. Their latest is 2012’s “Seaside & Sedmikrasky.” The high energy and female four piece of Austin punk act, Feral Future will be there as direct support. This band is melodic but unforgiving in their approach, and last year’s “Haematic” is pretty damn great. Houston’s Vacation Eyes will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $6.00 and $8.00.
Big Top will have Gulf Coast swagger of Nick Gaitan & The Umbrella Man. If you’ve never seen these guys tear through some of your western swing favorites mixed with originals in both English & Spanish, then you’ve been doing Houston all wrong. They could easily be some of Houston’s most talented players going. The 21 & up show starts at 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Beta Theater will have a local comedy showcase, when stand up Ashton Womack hosts the Beta Standup Showcase. The weekly show features Womack alongside four of Houston’s funniest comics. This week, his special guest will be the hilarious Gabe Bravo. Bravo will be prepping for his opening slot on the Pete Holmes show later this Summer, and he’s joined by three other comics. The BYOB show gets going at 10:00 and tickets are a measly $6.00.
Friday at Wonky Power Live, they’ll be hosting the female fronted punk of NYC’s Worriers. This four piece makes a mix of old school punk mixed with a more melodic brand of the genre. Their latest is 2013’s “Sinead O’Rebellion.” The melodic grunge punk of Bristol, UK’s Caves will also be there. Caves makes pretty great tunes, though you might not have heard of them. They’re definitely worth getting there early for, and their 2014 album “Leaving” is really good. The garage punk of Houston three piece, Something Fierce will be there to throw down. I’d hope you’d have heard these guys as they make songs that are close to The Clash, but still unique. Their last album was in 2011, called “Don’t Be So Cruel,” but it still sounds as fresh as it did four years ago. The garage punk of Houston’s Kose will open things up with doors at 7:00 on the all ages show. It’s BYOB for 21 & up, and the tickets are between $7.00 and $10.00.
Iliza Shlesinger Photo: NBC
If you were lucky enough to grab tickets, then you’ll be watching the hilarious comedy of Iliza Shlesinger at Warehouse Live. Shlesinger is here in support of her latest special, “Freezing Hot,” and if you’ve never seen her then you’ve been missing out. Her 2013 album, “War Paint” is one of the best things you can listen to. Featuring on the show is Stand Up NBC finalist, and Improv regular, John Nguyen. Nguyen might be the most humble comic in Houston, as well as one of the funniest from the newer classes of comics. His irreverent humor and quick timing make him a must see on the bill. Opening things up is one of Houston’s best comics and possibly one of the city’s most overlooked; Nia De-Bose. Nia can do more off the cuff jokes than anyone you’ll see, and her quick wit set her apart from most touring comics going. The show is SOLD OUT, with doors at 7:30 in the studio.
Over at Fitzgerald’s you can catch the alterna pop rock of Houston’s Lost Element. The five piece act has done everything from tour everywhere to drop singles, like the one they’re releasing at this show. Earlier this year they released the single, “25,” and it’s rather popular. They’ll have Houston’s King Finn on as direct support. This five piece plays a melodic form of indie rock that is pretty catchy and hard to ignore. This year they released the six song album, “As Part of Me,” and I’ll admit that it sticks in your head. Houston four piece If The War Should End will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover upstairs.
Walter’s has a pretty tight show, when the Television meets Wire punk sounds of Ceremony comes to town. So, this California five piece has really reformed their sound from the early days of their 2006 debut, “Violence Violence.” Their latest, the recently released “The L-Shaped Man” is far away from their hardcore beginnings, but still intriguing and immense. They’ll have the fuzzy solo sounds of California’s Tony Molina on as direct support. This guy sounds like if Dinosaur Jr and early Weezer had a baby, and he’s worth getting there early for. Last year he put out the melodic and distorted sounding album, “Dissed & Dismissed,” that’s something everyone should own. The experimental rock of Brooklyn’s Uniform will also be on the bill. This band is pretty intense, and they make some seriously righteous music. I love when I hear something that doesn’t sound like anything else; and their 2015 album “Perfect World” is on its own. The hardcore of Houston’s Dress Code will be there as well, and probably teach everyone what hardcore really is. I suggest getting there early to catch them cause’ they’re kind of like a steamroller of punk. DJ Mr. Castillo opens the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
Notsuoh will be throwing a show when they bring Houston’s Race To The Moon over. These guys play a kind of easy going but high energy pop rock. They really remind me of Interpol and a nineties band called Vitreous Humor. They put out a 7” last year called “Burned Out” that should let you know their fun sound. Austin indie rock four piece Yuma will be there as well. Houston rock band Remember will bring their intertwining melodies and sonic indie shoegaze sound to life as openers. The doors are at 8:00, and the show is 100% FREE.
Alley Kat will bring you a night full of melody, when The Wheel Workers perform songs from their glorious new EP, “Citizens.” I feel like if you’ve never seen this five piece perform then you must be living under a rock. They have a crazy high energy, and they perform every show like it’s their last. The underrated talent of Houston’s Chase Hamblin & The Roustabouts will also be there to drop their hook heavy pop rock songs. I’ve said this no less than ten times, but this guy is one of our city’s best songwriters, and his “Way Back” single from earlier this year could’ve been made at Abbey Road. The fun and heavy melodies of Brunson Theater will be there to open things up with doors at 8:30 and a $5.00 cover on the 21 & up show.
The House of Dereon will be hosting an evening with Houston hip hop supergroup, The Hue. There aren’t too many times where you can catch a hip hop act where pretty much every member can actually sing, rhyme, and flow with precision and depth…but that’s what The Hue is. You can’t listen to their single, “Heat ‘Gamma’,” and not think that this is a next level act. The show is visual art and music, which is pretty damn cool. DJ Flash Gordon Parks and DJ Nimbus will also be on hand. The doors are at 9:00, it’s 18 & up I think, and the tickets are between $10.00 and $150.00.
Over at The Shop, the surf rock sounds of Que Pasa? will be performing. The Austin based three piece is best known for a high energy live set, alongside fun songs. Their last release was “Big Mistake” from last year, and it’s pretty damn good. The garage rock pop goodness of Houston’s Mikey & The Drags will be on hand as well. You should go check these guys out as they feel like the only band I’ve seen during this whole garage rock revival that actually gets how things should sound. 2013’s “On The Loose” is one of the best albums to come out of Houston in the past five years, and they’re always entertaining to see live. The indie rock of Houston’s Rose Ette will also be there, and this is a band that I’m telling you that you’ll hate to miss. I’ve seen them twice now and both times I watched their entire set…which doesn’t happen often. The pop folk of Dollie Barnes will also be there, and again; she’s so immensely talented. One of the few singers who I will watch in amazement, her vocals and sweet sound are about one of the catchiest things you can see. The doors are at 9:00, it’s BYOB, and I’m pretty sure that the TBA cover won’t be expensive.
Saturday you can get the day started over at Discovery Green for a chance to decide which Texas Churned Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will be the next flavor. You get a free scoop of ice cream at the event that runs from 2:00 until 11:00, and it’s all ages welcomed.
At Last Concert Cafe, they’ll be hosting the FreshDark Fest. Details were pretty scarce on this event until very recently, but the highlight of the all day event is that LA fusion hip hop producer Shafiq Husayn will be headlining it. Husayn has dropped some intense music, and his latest “En A Free Ka Instrumentals” from 2009 is insane. There’s all day music from Space Villains, Josiah Gabriel, Android Genius, and many many more. More details are here, and tickets are between $20.00 and $50.00, with doors at 4:00.
Yelawolf Photo: Courtesy of Artist
I’m guessing that a good percentage of you will head to Fitzgerald’s to catch the massively popular sounds of Alabama’s Yelawolf. This guy has been poppin’ off for a while, but his latest “Love Story,” that just dropped is already blowing up. He puts on a pretty good live show, so be prepared. He has the rockabilly of Nashville’s Hillbilly Casino there as direct support. For pretty much any other rapper, this would be a strange twist as a support act; but not for this show. This four piece released a live album last year called “Live In The USA,” which should give you an idea of what to expect. Yelawolf’s DJ, DJ Klever will get the all ages show started with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $32.00.
Over at The Summit, they have a crazy lineup that’s headlined by the soulful sounds of Houston’s Moji. fresh from appearances at both Free Press Summer Fest & Beer Fest, the now four piece is set to dazzle your ears with their grandiose sounds. The always eclectic and electrifying sounds of Houston’s Two Star Symphony will also be on hand. If you’ve never seen this band perform, then you’re missing one of our city’s best kept secrets. Of course, you should also check out third member of black kite and producer birdmagic as well. This guy had already performed at Bonnaroo and made it into the famed Red Bull Music Academy prior to moving to Houston. He drops insane sets whether it be original works like the recently released, “Forget,” or DJ sets that can include remixes he’s done from kind of everyone. The show only gets better with Say Girl Say on prior. This three piece is pretty amazing in that they mix ukulele, acoustic guitar, and percussion with two insane sets of vocals to create their own sound. A DJ set from Here Come The Girls as well as a set from queer positive rapper Biz Vicious will open things up. There’s also poems for barter, trade, or sale from Traci Lavois Thiebaud. The all ages show is $10.00 for 21 & up and $20.00 for everyone else with doors at 8:00.
Emmy winning Latin comic Mike Robles will be doing two sets over at Traffic Premium Lounge. there’s no word of openers, but that could easily change. The shows are at 8:00 and 10:30, they’re 21 & up, and tickets are $15.00.
Rudyard’s will be having a pretty intense show, when Houston’s Raceway performs. This band makes a kind of ambient shoegaze type of music, that’s pretty cool to see live. Last year they dropped the split “Cadmium/Playthings” and honestly it’s pretty cool. They’ll have the indie pop of Houston three piece, Camera Cult on prior. I’ve never seen them live, but their song, “Prelude To Heartbreak” is pretty catchy. The multilayered soundscapes of Eric Todd will be there to open things up. This guy does it all solo, and he doesn’t perform much anymore. You’re foolish if you miss his intense music when he performs. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a measly $8.00 cover.
If you want to experience the epic film “Jaws” like never before, then you could head to Discovery Green to watch it on a really big screen. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the epic film, the park will be showing a one time screening of it. Things get going around 9:00 and run until 11:00.
H20 Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Sunday you should find yourself heading out to Walter’s to catch the 20th anniversary tour for punk band H2O. The last album these guys released was 2011’s “Don’t Forget Your Roots,” but I think most who attend will want to hear jams from “Nothing To Prove” or “H20.” Maine five piece punks, Cruel Hand will be there on before. Cruel Hand has been around since the early 2000’s, but their latest record, last year’s “The Negatives” is their best. San Antonio thrashcore band, SnakeWay will also be there, while Houston’s United Races will be there to open the show. Things are all ages with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Monday you can head back to Walter’s for some pop punk when Wyoming’s Teenage Bottlerocket comes to town. Though they’ve been around since 2003, they don’t really make it down here much. They’ve been getting popular since playing Riot Fest, and their new album “Tales From Wyoming” is really tight. The Copyrights from Illinois will also be there, bringing with them their own brand of pop punk. They play a stripped down version of pop punk that’s closer to that of Screeching Weasel, which is all over their fast album from last year, “Report.” Houston pop punkers The Turnaways will bring their Green Day sound to life as well. Action Frank, also from Houston will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.
Not a bad week, just another where things feel a little closer to normal. No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the safest way possible.